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Pairing: Enjolras/Grantaire
Alternative name(s): ExR, e/R, E/R, enjoltaire, granjolras, permets-tu?
Gender category: M/M slash
Fandom: Les Misérables
Canonical?: Up for interpretation
Prevalence: Popular
Archives: Enjolras/Grantaire (AO3)
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Enjolras/Grantaire is the most popular ship in the modern Les Misérables fandom, though it only started gaining prominence in the 2010s, particularly after the 2012 movie adaptation.


[Enjolras/Grantaire] wasn’t a ship as much as a biochemical event that fundamentally altered the entire course of my life. In all seriousness, though, it’s stunning and profoundly affecting to see such a rich and complex and sensitively rendered depiction of romantic love between men laid out in a work of classic literature, and to see how that relationship has endured in the various permutations of the story. Enjolras and Grantaire are a reminder that we’ve always been here, and that we’re more powerful than anyone who would seek to destroy us. No one can ever take that away from us. They died holding hands. They died holding hands. Vive la révolution, motherfuckers.

Peyton Thomas, The 100 Most Popular Ships on Ao3, Ranked, Archived version

The Original Book

While Enjolras/Grantaire has generally been regarded as non-canonical, there are those who argue that Victor Hugo always meant to suggest homoeroticism.[1] Grantaire's introduction is partly about how he is the obverse of Enjolras, venerates Enjolras, and Enjolras and Grantaire are compared to a number of literary homoerotic couples, such as Achilles and Patroclus.[2] The two have various one on one interactions with each other, many of which reinforce Grantaire's devotion to Enjolras. For many, their death scene—which involves Grantaire asking for permission to hold Enjolras' hand and Enjolras smiling[3]—is the culmination of the symbolism that Hugo has built up and where Enjolras accepts love.[4][5]

some people really think mr vicky hugo, the man himself, was thinking “im gonna compare these two male characters to not only achilles and patroclus, but also orestes and pylades, alexander the great and hephaestion and several other famous gay couples, but, like, heterosexually”…. its gay bitch[6]

The Stage Musical

Because of the nature of the medium, it is up to each production how canonical they are in the stage musical, ranging from no interaction at all to canon. The most accessible versions that predate the 2012 film are the anniversary concerts, which feature Enjolras and Grantaire shaking hands (for the 10th anniversary) and Enjolras and Grantaire touching each other in conversation before walking off stage together (25th anniversary) during "Drink With Me". The subtext between Enjolras and Grantaire has gradually been played up more, with further interactions between the two, including hugging, hair-stroking and hand kisses, depending on the actors. Thus the ship has arguably been canon in many stage productions since the mid-2010s.[7]

In the second act, they fight, they make up, they hold hands. When the barricade is about to fall, Enjolras bids Grantaire the most heartbreaking farewell in musical history by taking his hands and kissing them. Ah, my heart, this is worse than Titanic! Then, in the finale, Grantaire rushes to join Enjolras, and the two of them once again stand side by side in the afterlife. Good for them, and good for Grantaire especially. It must be hard being in love with someone who clearly loves you back, but loves the revolution even more.

Siiri Liitiä, Nordic Reviews: Les Mis in Oslo, Archived version

2012 Film Adaption

Grantaire's actor, George Blagden, gave interviews in which he confirmed that he was aware of the subtext between Enjolras and Grantaire in the original novel and that it greatly influenced his acting choices while filming.[8][9] Although he regards Enjolras and Grantaire's relationship as "ambiguous", his acting and subsequent participation in the fandom helped solidify the canonicity of e/R in some fans' minds.

I would have a little game going on in my head that involved being constantly aware of wherever Aaron was on set at ALL times. Only during takes, during the filming. A simple little trick, but it meant that whenever the camera was rolling, I would always have part of my mind focused on that. Even if I was doing something miles away from where he was and had my attention focused on doing something else, I would always try to work out where he was. Which I was hoping at the time would read on screen. And I hope it did.

George Blagden, ExR Interview with George Blagden, Archived version

#do you think george ever watches his performance in this film and just thinks #fuck i nailed this so hard #better stock up on vials to hold all the shipper tears in[10]

On 31 August 2013, George Blagden uploaded a cover of the song "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" with the title "?". Some of the lyrics have been changed to reflect the relationship between Enjolras and Grantaire, such as "I got my feelings bruised, by the leader in red". As of 14 February 2023, the video has over 900k views and has inspired countless fanart, fanfic, fanmixes and fanfic titles.


The popularity of the 2012 film adaption coincided with AO3's rise in popularity, which made it the most popular archive to post e/R fics to. From 2013 to 2019, it was always in the Top 50 ships in AO3 Ship Stats and while it is still within the Overall Top 100, its position has dropped down to 72nd as of 2022.[11]

Tropes & Fanon

  • Pining Grantaire is an extremely widespread fanon as it's more or less considered canon by many fans, even non-shippers.
  • Oblivious Enjolras, ie a Enjolras who doesn't notice Grantaire's obvious pining, is a popular trope. Pining Enjolras is the inversion, where Enjolras is either the one pining or it's a case of mutual pining.
  • Fake Dating is also a popular trope.
  • Grantaire will often call Enjolras "Apollo", which is likely to annoy or at least bewilder him.
  • Enjolras finding Grantaire's sketch book or studio full of sketches, drawings or paintings of him.




Meta/Further Reading

Archives and Communities


  1. ^ 10littlebullets on Livejournal about the canonicity of e/r, Archived version in almost_canon. Posted 28 May 2008.
  2. ^ Les Misérables, Victor Hugo, Tome III ("Marius"), Book IV ("Les Amis de l'ABC"), Chapter I ("Un groupe qui a failli devenir historique").
  3. ^ Les Misérables, Victor Hugo, Tome V ("Jean Valjean"), Book I ("La guerre entre quatre murs"), Chapter XXIII ("Oreste à jeun et Pylade ivre").
  4. ^ Rough draft of Part IV of Enjolras and the Acceptance of Love: eros and Grantaire, Archived version Posted 25 June 2013, archived 14 February 2023.
  5. ^ Anonymous wrote what's your interpretation on enjolras and r's relationship in the book?, Archived version Posted 23 June 2016, archived 14 February 2023.
  6. ^ mutantapologist on Tumblr, Archived version. Posted 7 January 2018, archived 15 September 2018.
  7. ^ Examples of e/R moments in stage productions.
  8. ^ George Blagden talks about ‘Les Miserables’ success, Grantaire’s relationship with Enjolras, Archived version. Posted 27 February 2013, archived 2 March 2013.
  9. ^ byjuxtaposition. ExR Interview with George Blagden, Archived version. Posted 19 October 2015, archived 14 February 2023.
  10. ^ courfierac on Tumblr, Archived version. Posted 10 January 2014, archived 23 May 2023.
  11. ^ centreoftheselights. AO3 Ship Stats 2022: Overall Top 100, Archived version Posted 4 August 2022, archived 9 February 2023.